Obituary for Marianna Vascassenno

Marianna Vascassenno, of Tempe, formerly of Safford, passed away in the early morning hours of Sept. 25, 2020, with her family at her side.  Marianna was born on April 20, 1921, in New Plymouth, Idaho.  She was the oldest of two daughters born to James Owen and Margaret Smock Owen.

Marianna’s sister, Jo, introduced Marianna to Salvatore Vascassenno, and they were married in Pontiac, Michigan in 1949.  Marianna’s sons, Ron and Mike, were joined by their sister, Susan, in 1950, brother, Bill, in 1952, and sisters, Margaret, in 1956, and Sarah in 1961.  Their big farmhouse in Clarkston, Michigan was the center of their family.  Cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and school friends were always welcome and well-fed.  Italian food, spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad were everyone’s favorite.

Marianna’s love of music started with school plays in high school, and she continued sharing her gift, singing solos in the local church as her family grew.  Marianna’s love of shopping got a boost when she worked in a dress shop after the children were grown.  She loved knitting, jewelry making, and was a good artist with watercolor.

Marianna Vascassenno

To be a good mother and friend one has to be a good listener and Marianna was a good listener to her six children,  10 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and her many friends of all ages.

Marianna is survived by Ronald (Sue) Applegate, Susan (Howard) Jenkins, William Vascassenno, Maggie Vascassenno,  John Parker, and Sarah (Ruud) DeHeij, and nephew William White.  She is also survived by her 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Salvatore “Sam” Vascassenno; her parents, James L. Owen and Margaret L. Smock; Michael Applegate, and Joan M. Combs.

Services will be held Friday, Oct. 2, beginning with a viewing at 11 a.m., followed by the funeral service at 12 p.m. at the McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel, with interment in the Pima Cemetery following services.  The family requires that all guests wear masks or face coverings to the services.

Arrangements are at the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory. Online condolences may be extended at